Achilles

I was the warrior —
the hero of all the realms
of grief and glory,
but there is no fighting back
from this.

In slow sweetness
of the 19th century
morning rituals,
discover skin rubbed away,
the tendon raw.
Pierce it with a nail
to be sure,
and it is not imagination.
Watch the blood and water flow,
and feel nothing.
Nothing.

They lie in wait,
and no one will wind
the flute to draw off
those snakes that circle
round the ladder.
I want to run from it
or run it off,
and wait for spirit shoes,
growing more human
in the battle.

Those medicine men
left me broken.
And there is no respite —
no remaining healer
to draw off these arrows.
I must either succumb
or find a way to put it
into my own healing hands.

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About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

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